Democracy in Spain is a very recent occurrence. After the death of the ruler for near-on 40 years, Francisco Franco, a Spanish constitution was declared and implemented in 1978. With the new constitution came a statute of autonomy for Spain’s autonomous regions such as the Illes Balears allowing the establishment of self-government institutions. The Parlament de les Illes Balears was constituted in May 1983, after the elections held that very month.
Elections are coming up again later this year, on May 22nd, and the political powers will be newly elected. National elections are not due until 2012 but, regional elections will be held in all of Spain in May, as well as municipal elections of all local town hall councils. Non-Spanish nationals have no vote in the regional elections, I am afraid, but, we do have a say and a vote in the make-up of our municipal ajuntament (town hall). To be qualified for a vote in May of this year, foreigners have to be empadronado (registered) with their local town hall and have to be on the poll register. If you happen to be empadronado in your pueblo but are not sure as to whether you are listed on the poll register, now is the time to act upon your citizen’s urges and responsibilities. Go to your local town hall and ask the municipal secretary if indeed your name is included with the right to vote. If not, submit to be included in time for the May elections. You may find that the next fortnight will be decisive for having your electoral rights asserted; if you miss the deadline you cannot vote this year.
The photo was taken in Palma de Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: December 31st, 2010. The time was 13:56:56.